Be a Santa Claws for a Cat Caretaker in Your Community
Every neighborhood has at least one “cat lady” or “cat folx” as we like to say – the person who takes care of homeless cats, day in and day out. It is rewarding work, but work that can often be overlooked. Caretakers sacrifice time with their families, invest a lot of their personal money, and miss things that they might like to do because it conflicts with the cats routine. But if you have a cat situation – a runaway, a stray showing up, etc – they make time to help you and your neighbors.
While we ask you on a year round basis to donate cat food and supplies to help, for the holidays this year – we are asking a little differently. We’d like to collect gifts for the caretakers, namely gift cards they can use on themselves (or cats, their choice, of course.)
We have 25 caretakers. Our goal is to get one gift card/gift for each of them. So we need at least 25 donors.
*Northside * New Derry * Swissvale * Oakdale * Robinson * West Mifflin * Munhall * White Oak * Carnegie * Moon Township * Monongahela * Midland* Bridgeville * Imperial *
Here’s how it works
One – gift cards
One, you donate a gift card to be distributed to the caretakers. You can drop off, send via the mail, or send electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org or you can donate $$ and we’ll purchase the card.
We suggest these cards
- Giant Eagle, Kuhns, Shop ‘n Save
- Target or similar stores with multiple sites
- Applebees, Panera, Eat ‘n Park, Starbucks, or similar restaurants with multiple locations
- Sheetz or similar gas station cards
- Tractor Supply
- Best Feeds Garden Supplies
- Wagsburgh (because we have so many caretakers on the Northside)
Please keep in mind our caretakers are spread out across multiple counties with different transportation and technology situations.
Two – other comfort & relaxation items
Second, you can send us 25 items to distribute to the caretakers. For example, handmade soaps or cat themed items or tea/coffee, some other sort of comfort & relaxation items. This is a great way to support a local business – and it is fine to send less than 25, we can put partial donations together.
Three – adopt a colony
Third, you might adopt a colony and make a monthly donation of food; review our list of caretakers and send cat food donations to them directly. That’s a classic, but always welcome gift for anyone. Knowing they can count on one case of wet food or a bag of dry or a few containers or treats can have a year round impact. Maybe send a bag of treats for each colony cat? Or enough food for one month for all of the cats in that colony?
- Al and Karen (72), West Mifflin, 5 cats
- Barbara (79), Oakland, 25 cats
- Cindy, Hill District, 18 cats
- Denise, (61), Carnegie, 20+ cats
- Erica, (30), Regent Square, 10+ cats
- Holly, Northside, 10+ cats
- July, (78), Moon Township, 15 cats
- Ken, (48), McKeesport, 10 cats
- Kevin, (68), Monangahela, 40 cats
- Lana (42), Midland Beaver County, 8 cats
- Lenny & Mary Ann, 70), Northside, 12 cats*
- Marie, (64), Northside, 100+ cats acros 9 colonies
- Marjorie, (45), Imperial, 20 cats
- Mike (72), Robinson, 30 cats across 6 colonies*
- Mike M (74), Northside, 8 cats
- Rich (77), Munhall, 30 cats*
- Rosemany (72), Northside, 15 cats*
- Roy, (96), Northside, 3 cats
- Staci & Sean, (57), Bridgeville, 10 cats
- Stephanie (33), New Derry Westmoreland County, 10 cats
- Zarina (53), Northside, 6 cats
- Walt (78), Northside, 26 cats
Total 450+ cats across four counties, most that have been TNVRd
Donations can be sent in c/of Pgh Northside Cat Folx and Friends
1439 W. North Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15233
Taking care of a colony is a lot of work. A lot.
The colony in my backyard is easy to help – easy to put food out, wipe dishes, find electrical outlets for heated shelters/bowls, and otherwise just lean into the proximity of the cats to our home. The other colony is much larger and has no amenities – no electricity, no running water, nowhere to store supplies.
I have to carry everything with me or they go without unless I make another trip. I don’t see everyone in person each day, leaving me to worry a lot about their welfare. I have to clean dishes on the spot and change them out regularly (more things to carry.) My tasks include checking the shelters, cleaning out the feeding stations, looking around for possible hazards or disturbances, trimming grass and weeds/shoveling snow, making sure the straw is in good shape. And picking up a lot of trash and debris the cats didn’t create. I spend hours sitting out to trap new cats, then house them until they get to a spay/neuter clinic. I also constantly rearrange supplies at my home – keeping the community cat items separate from my own cats. I fundraise, a lot. Spent many hours this summer preparing for and coping with the demolition of the abandoned house where they lived then the unexpected removal of the truck we used as a feeding stations. It is a lot of work. Work.
I’m fortunate to have support and that my colonies are very close to my home. I get a lot of satisfaction and joy helping redistribute donations to my neighbor caretakers. I know firsthand how much they pour into this work and the impact it has for the cats and the larger community.
Thank you for joining us in this effort to acknowledge these good people and their positive impact in our communities.
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